The TWSBI Diamond 530 is one of the most talked about pen in the Fountain Pen world at the moment and now that I have succumbed to its siren call I can share some thoughts with my faithful readers.
Much of the hype surrounding the TWSBI comes from the open nature of the design and the effort that the designer, Speedy, went to in order to ensure he was creating a pen that people wanted. It is also remarkable because you get a large, piston filler pen for under 50$.
When I cut open the padded envelope I was greeted by a box adorned with the TWSBI logo.
Inside the box was a plastic case that contained and displayed the pen. I had seen pictures of the TWSBI case but I was struck by how well made and solid it felt which I figured was a good sign for the pen within.
Yes the pen pictured is already filled. I was too anxious to use it to take the pictures as I opened.
The case contains the Diamond 530, a wrench for disassembly, some silicone grease and complete care instructions. I don’t think many other manufacturers would include complete schematics of their pens inner workings and the tools to fool with it and that is one of the things that appealed to me. The TWSBI philosophy has a very DIY ethos.
Appearance & Design (9)
The pen is quite nice. The plastic is crisp and clear. I am not a Demonstrator fan boy but it seems appropriate for a pen that is some open about its design. The “diamond” cut facets on the barrel give the pen a nice look. The trim accents the pen nicely.
Construction & Quality (9)
The TWSBI Diamond 530 is a solid pen and despite being made inexpensively and of clear plastic it feels well constructed. The piston action is smooth and easy. Every part fits together well and you can see it was well tested.
Weight & Dimensions (9)
The pen is heavier than I thought it would be and the barrel diameter is great for my hand. My only issue is that I am having a hard time getting used to using a pen unposted. I tried posting the TWSBI but found that it really threw off the pen’s balance.
Nib & Performance (8)
The nib was a real surprise. It was smooth and laid a wet line straight out of the box. Compared to my Lamy steel nibs I found that the TWSBI nib actually has a bit spring to it (not flex) that made writing smooth.
Filling System & Maintenance (10)
This is obviously one of TWSBI’s biggest selling points. The pen is a piston fill, which I love, and it includes everything you could need to take it down to its base components and reassemble.
Cost & Value (10)
A large, piston filler with a decent nib for 40$ USD. Need I say more.
I cannot say that this is my favourite pen, yet, but I have a feeling that it may well become it. The pen write well, feel great and looks good. The pen gives you what many people look for in much pricier pens for a very reasonable entry level price. If you don’t have a TWSBI do yourself a favour and forgo the lattes for a week and spend that cash on this instead.
Other reviews that helped me make my decision: